Sunday, January 31, 2010

Using too much laundry detergent?

A while ago, I wrote about ways to be greener in the laundry, and one of my tips was to use 1/2 as much detergent as recommended on the label. So I was really interested when I read this article in the Wall Street Journal about the fact that the majority of Americans are actually using MORE than the recommended dose. According to this article, Method found that 53% of consumers guess, or fill the cap to the top, when pouring their detergent. The article then goes on to say that overdosing on soap will lead to dingier clothes, smelly machines, and even the possibility of damaging the machine. This is especially true with the ultra concentrated detergents, front loaders and high efficiency washers.

The article doesn't even talk about the financial or eco consequences of using too much detergent. In general, a standard dose is half a cap, so if you are filling your cap to the top, you are halving the amount of washes you are getting from the bottle. If you start to measure, and use half the manufacturers' recommended dose, you will be making your bottle last FOUR times as long, a huge financial saving. On top of this, you will be minimising your eco footprint, due to a quarter of the packaging and consumable resources being used compared with using the full cap.

As the article stated, the lines on the caps do not make measuring easy. I like to take a black Sharpie and draw in the line for a regular load to make my life easier. So make the change, and start measuring. Your wallet, your machine and the planet will thank you!

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Kalee said...

I remember just kinda guessing when I was younger (but never filling it full), now we tend to do right at the line, so I will have to talk to my husband about us using half and see how it goes. Our clothes are never really dirty, just worn, if that makes sense. We've tried to scale back and make sure if the top is still clean smelling to wear it more than once. We just hang it up to keep it looking fresh.

Chic Mummy said...

The only time i use a full dose of detergent is for DHs work clothes. Otherwise, even the toddler's clothes don't get a full dose. I just pretreat any stains.

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